Category Archives: elections 2010

I’m Struggling with This

Today, a very promising and successful Democratic, female politician was shot in the head FROM  BEHIND.  She’s alive.  From the last news I read, 5 people are dead, including a nine year old child.  This same Democratic politician had previously pointed out that violent rhetoric in politics has consequences, citing Sarah Palin’s scope targets on a map as an example.

Several blogs, news reports etc. have me wondering.  There seems to be a rush to connect this particular person to something.  I think it’s too soon to know in this particular case, but I do think there has been an increase in political violence and violent political rhetoric since Obama was elected.

During the run up to the Iraq war, I don’t remember any Republican politicians getting harangued at town hall meetings.   During the truly awful time in Iraq of 2006, I don’t remember anyone vandalizing politicians offices or homes.  During the truly awful, deadly surge of 2007, I don’t remember any politician getting SHOT IN THE FUCKING HEAD.  During all that time there were anti-war protests and people writing and advocating against the surge.  Hell, Obama made it his initial point in running for president.

The only people who died in that time period were American service members, Iraqi civilians and military personnel from the coalition of the willing.

There were millions of people angry about that.  But they didn’t threaten or kill any politicians.  Hell, Hillary voted for the AUMF and ran for president, as did McCain.

What has changed?  Why didn’t we have heated town hall meetings with recordings and cellphone pictures and clips plastered all over the news of angry anti-war protesters haranguing their representatives?

Perhaps it was because the media, especially talk radio was all for the war, making the arguments and excuses and cheerleading forever on the airwaves?  And when it came to HCR, those same enterprises were on the other side?  And they knew how to whip up their audiences against something just as they had for something (the surge)?

I think the 27% crazification factor has grown.  It’s now at about 33% plus.  People in this category of political activism or just voters have the ability to be moved by simple lies.  They believe authority figures before they believe honest citizens, like me, or like the Democratic representative who was SHOT IN THE BACK OF THE HEAD today.

She made the connection about violent rhetoric.  While some say it’s to soon to make a connection, her father already has.  He named the Tea Party as known enemies.  Over HCR.

I remember reading about her as an up and coming Democrat.  While I don’t agree with her policy opinions completely, I read about her and thought she was a pragmatist — which I admire — Obama, Jordan, Garnet Coleman Jessica Farrar — are all pragmatists that I agree with, among others.  I took note of her.

When we got home from our errands today and I checked on the blogs I follow — my first reaction was why?  Why her?

She was targeted.  It’s that simple.

It seems clear to me that there is more passion about changing the health care system in this country so it helps more people than there is about people — including our own — dying in other countries.  There is more passion about smacking a black president in the face than there is about all of the money wasted through graft and irresponsibility in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  There is more passion about this Teabaggery — something 37% see in a good light, 43% see in a bad light, and 13% never heard of — something only 29% claim to be a part of and a whopping 61% are not — gets all of this time on every channel — even PBS.  It’s just a shiny abject to fill the day’s news.  It wasn’t the same with opposition to the war in Iraq.  Overwhelming public disagreement went unreported for the most part.

But to come back around, a very promising female Democrat, who had been specifically targeted by Sarah Palin is now hopefully recovering in a hospital in Tucson.

Where is the equivalent examples from anti-war protesters?  This HCR fight and the 2010 election is now bloody, and deadly.

Words fail.


Just Wondering

Work is busy, and with the kittens and the garden and all of the other things going on, I was just wondering how much effect talk radio has on votes.

Past elections, even the recent primaries at least here in Texas make me doubt their efficacy.

While all of the local Republican talk stations have supported Perry (and he won the primary), I don’t think that’s saying much.  The Tea Party people tried to take on the Republican party here in Texas and were defeated.  The only exception might be they guy up for Tax Assessor, but he wasn’t championed by the talk radio clique.  They were able to get their establishment Republicans on the ballot and now try to be Teabaggers.  It’s more than a little embarrassing — and sad for the Teabaggers.  They couldn’t even capture the Harris County Republican chairman.

Dan Patrick hasn’t done so well in getting his pet candidates elected — they all seem to be crazy.

Michale Berry decides that he will die on his sword fighting SJL and Bill White.  I still think that the anti-incumbent wave will hit Perry in the face and talk radio will go down in flames again (knock knock knock, twu, twu twu).

Back in 2008, all of talk radio, both national and local was against John McCain.  He still won the nomination quite easily.

In 2006, talk radio defeated their own people on immigration, but just like with Afghanistan, took their eyes off the ball and lost the House.

Michale Berry claims to have the largest listening audience at 5:00 drive time in the city, and yet he can only muster 15K people on his Facebook, despite flogging it every day.  And that’s in a city of 3 million +.  His station is 11th in the area and that means that the other talk radio stations are below that.

I just wonder if there is anyone listening who could be convinced.  Sean Hannity claims to have people who are call in.  (Or at least he used to.)  I don’t listen to Limbaugh or Hannity much anymore, mostly because they have just been repeating themselves for three years now and they didn’t prove effectual in the last two elections, so why bother?

I’m beginning to think the same thing about local talk radio.  It’s the same old thing.  “Government Cheese” (Reagan!).  Does anyone even remember what that was about?  It reveals a lot about their audience.  “Save our freedoms and our liberties!”  Please, if nothing else, they have had a field day.

I’m just wondering . . . could this vision of grandeur be something that is just that?  The Teabaggers have been defeated here in Texas — I can’t see them forgetting what Michale Berry, Pat Grey and Glenn Beck did to them anytime soon.  Elsewhere in the country they have to defend some of the most extreme candidates since David Duke.

I’m actually cautiously optimistic about next month.


A Reminder Before Bedtime

From my favorite blogger, Steve Benen:

I’ll add my own:

It’s going to take all of us and more to outvote the teabaggers.


“Livin’ the dream!”

If one listens to Joe Pagliarulo in KPRC any morning, you will hear the title quote, along with, “Love you like a brother” and “Get off my phone!!!!” more times than you can imagine.  Less frequently, but enough, you will hear, “Prove me wrong!” and “I don’t lie.”

This morning, Pagliarulo was having an aneurysm over Rahm Emanuel making a video in D.C. to be played in the Chicago market and using the word “here” to mean Chicago.  (I guess Pagliarulo thinks Mission to Mars was, you know, filmed on Mars.)

Here’s the email exchange I had with him:

Me:  Where is “here” to you, Joe?  You lie every day about where you are.  You pretend to be here in Houston, but you’re not.  You’re in San Antonio.  Why don’t you stop lying and come clean with your audience?

Pagliarulo:  I”m not in san antonio.. thanks for not having a clue.. and I NEVER say I’m in Houston .. unless I actually am.. which I frequently am.  Thanks for getting it wrong!

Me:  You live in San Antonio.  You pretend to be here in Houston every morning on the radio. Stop lying and come clean.  You and Chris Baker both lie about where you are every day.

Pagliarulo:  I don’t live in San Antonio.. and, by the way you confused person, my voice is broadcast live to the Houston market every morning.. no  matter where I am.  LIVE to Houston.  I’m not taping it elsewhere and rebroadcast like-live in Houston.  It’s a Houston show … done live daily for Houston.  So glad you listen every morning!!

Me:  You don’t live in Houston.  Baker doesn’t live in Houston.  You both pretend you do to your audiences.  Stop lying.

Pagliarulo:  hehe.. you’re so wrong.. and have lost this argument.. it’s okay.. someone has to lose.. just happens to be you today.

Me:  I see you are also lying on your online resumes.

Pagliarulo:  I have no online resumes!!!  hahahahahah.. you’re reaching.. I’m yet to hear my lie Michelle.  get a life.. you’re beaten here

Me:  Liar:

Pagliarulo:  didn’t realize Linkedin did an online resume!!  Thanks!!  Need to add my Houston show.  I appreciate it!

Me:  What?  Did you think they only do paper resumes?

Pagliarulo:  hey dork.. everything on there is true..what’s your question?

Me:  It says San Antonio, not Houston.  Stop lying.  Tell your audience that you don’t live here in Houston.  It’s just that simple, Joe.

Pagliarulo:  you’re a dork.. it says San Antonio because I do a show for San Antonio every afternoon.  hehe.. you don’t get it do you?  I do two shows a day.  one for Houston.. one for San Antonio.  When Glenn’s off I do his show.. and I frequently fill in elsewhere too.  hehe

Always self-promoting . . . .

Pagliarulo:  updated!!  thanks so much.

Me:  Are you some kind of Sybil?

And to think this man was allowed to breed.

Pagliarulo even claimed that there was WMD in Iraq later this morning and went through the whole litany of GWB 27%er’s excuses.  My goodness these white men on KPRC sure do know how to whine.

Station Boss Michale Berry was on later in the afternoon whining about how politics is all about race.  It’s his standard shtick.  And here’s a pro tip for Berry, refrain from whining about doing your job on the air.  Everyone knows you are just the trained monkey.  Whining about having to tell other people to do things for you while you rake in the big bucks is just unattractive.

One more thing.  I guess it’s better late than never, but Berry has found a way to make money off of the Teabaggers.  KPRC is having a Teabagger rally on October 16th and if you have the money, you can pay to have some face time with Berry, Pagliarulo and the other white guys on the station — except for Chris Baker — because he is in Minnesota.

Sometimes it worries me that there are a handful of people driving around my city who listen to and agree with, nay, egg on these yappers.

Republicans: Still the White People’s Party

If the Glenn Beck Restoring Honor (while lying) Rally was a surprise (!) for it’s lack of melanin (or required sun-screen, or racially taxed Americans), well then here is a poll taken by one of the more respected agencies:

Republicans Remain Disproportionately White and Religious

You don’t say.  I don’t think I needed a poll to tell me that.

About 9 out of 10 Republicans are non-Hispanic whites, and more than half of these are highly religious. That compares with 62% of the Democratic rank-and-file that is white and largely less religious, with blacks and Hispanics making up a much more substantial part of that party’s base.

These results are based on aggregated data from more than 220,000 Americans surveyed from early January through Aug. 15 of this year as part of Gallup Daily tracking.

I saw Donald Trump on Letterman tonight.  He’s really an idiot with money and a teevee show.  Our country is definitely not a meritocracy.  He thinks China produces more than the U.S.  It’s not true and never has been, but the people in the Gallup poll above are steadily helping China move up the producing country ranks by buying all their worthless shit from China.

I found Trump disconcerting.  He would look at one particular camera almost exclusively, giving Letterman the occasional glance, even when they switched to a different camera.  Perhaps he learned to do that at a motivational seminar or thought he was on his own teevee show.  I don’t know.  It was weird.

Later he got into the non-trovercy about the YMMA to be built in NYC.  He walks by the proposed site all the time and sees mothers and fathers and sons and daughters crying.  I tend not to believe that (the walking part).  According to The Donald, we here in the U.S.A. have freedom of religion BUT.

Why the BUT?

Oh, and one other point — I like how Gallup slipped in that “disproportionately.”  I also like that I’m in the proportionate party 🙂

The Way it is Done

I watched and listened to President Obama tonight.  His address was quiet, sincere, heartfelt, and nothing like what W. did back on “Mission Accomplished” day.

I’ve wasted things in my life: money, time, opportunities, other people’s time, but I have never wasted as much money or as many lives as George W. Bush has.  The woman Margaret interviewed on the News Hour tonight just made me cry.  It reminded me of the one Iraqi student we’ve had in our program at school.  Iraq is cursed, she said.  Margaret said she hoped the woman was wrong.  It was heartbreaking.

The president addressed our nation well and all of the criticism — from both the left and the right — is uncalled for.  This president has had to walk a line few others have — perhaps none other has.  He’s doing a good job and his poll numbers are coming up — despite the spitefulness of people on both sides.

I still believe in Hope.  I still believe in Change.  I am also realistic and pragmatic.  It will take time.  How much time depends on this November.  We can go forward — pick up a stronger Democratic majority — or go backwards — return to the frivolous investigations and government shut downs brought about by divided government in the 1990’s.  Remember, when Dems took over in 2006, they didn’t shut things down.  The Republicans will if they have just a one seat majority.

I was proud of my president tonight — I’ve been proud of him for a long time now.  I am hopeful that the economy will start coming back in the next couple of months and that come November, we will see that the hate and anger directed toward him will be recognized for what it is.

This is What People like Michale Berry Do Not Get

Today, Michale Berry spent his time on the radio crying about how President Obama didn’t go speak to the homophobic Boy Scouts organization.  (The fact that Berry supports Perry for gov and Perry “wrote” a book about the Scouts might have something to do with that.)  Of course he got a dig in at Sheila Jackson Lee and Bill White, but most of the time he was mocking black people.  You can get a pretty good idea of how Berry feels about black people from how he tries to mock the way he THINKS they all talk.

(I has  a SAD.  I couldn’t get my audios file up.  Just listen here and see if you don’t get what I’m talking about.)

(Curious how few callers he had) — Michale hopes that his listeners accept his excuse that he had so many things to talk about.  But really, Michale is just filling time.  Nobody really calls anymore.  Not even me.

Let’s put this in perspective.  Today a man who was wrongly convicted of rape TWENTY SEVEN YEARS AGO was not released (on bond?  why is there any bond or anything?) as scheduled.  Why?  He got a little pissed off at being shackled hand and foot, so he spends yet another night in jail for nothing.  This is how black Americans have been treated for years.  You behave — even if all of us were wrong and you were right — you BEHAVE!  It’s disgusting.  I’m pretty sure my choice for the inevitable Republican for District Attorney (Jim Leitner) wouldn’t have made this mistake.

It’s a well known, though little talked about fact that the “law and order” Republicans see the justice system as a way to reduce the number of black Americans able to vote.  Their thinking goes along the lines of hit black Americans with everything available and legislate even more ways to make sure a good percentage of blacks get caught up in the penal system.  If a few whites do too, well they represent a larger group and their punishment can be reduced based on the offense.

Just look at how long it took to black farmers to finally (maybe not, sadly, again) to get a settlement from the USDA.  Show me the white farmers with the same grievances.  Oh yeah, they are all of the wealthy farmers living of of government subsidies and bellyaching about the Bush tax cuts expiring.  Right.

I’ve written about this sort of thing before, but not nearly as much as I should have.

This makes me very angry and very sad at the same time.  Listening to Michale Berry today mock black people — while claiming that he didn’t have enough time to get to all of his supposed topics — just made me mad.

And then I realized something.  Michale Berry doesn’t care about black people singularly or in general.  Michale Berry cares about Michale Berry.  Anything he says will not reflect badly on the Republican party because he’s no longer a real player — except to be a handmaiden to Glenn Beck.  In other words, he’s just a tool.  A means to an end.

And so, I don’t feel so angry or mad because you know what?  I can mock him here on my little blog and he links to it and Kevin Whited links to it and every one of their readers turn out to be lame numskull cowards — or paid lackeys.

Here I am.  I support the Innocence Project.  I support the Southern Poverty Law Center.  I support LULAC and La Raza.  And the NAACP.  And Amnesty International and UNICEF.

I don’t support Texas Direct Auto, Gulf Coast Siding, and now IKEA (learn something new every day), or Houston Siding, nor any of the other people who peddle in the hope of making a buck off of the racist audience of Michale Berry.

Gah (vomit) in listening to him to capture the audio I forgot how he falsely accused a Spanish speaker of focusing on Spanish pronunciation.

John Faulk Community Organizer

This will go over well:

He served as a Community Organizer

From the same source:

John is now a semi-retired accountant

In other words, he needs a job.

He claims, “For the last 14 years the 18th Congressional District has been without representation.”

I might have agreed with him a few years ago when SJL went along with the bankruptcy bill, but this guy seems hell bent on milking his Heights roots but little else.  The other thing that bothers me about him is his connection to the Boy Scouts.  Rick Perry wrote a book about the Boy Scouts — at least here in Texes, they seem to be a haven for old conservatives with no new ideas — you know the one who want to go back to the 1950’s, when far more people of all ethnicities were dirt poor.

Oh, I forgot to add — this is my new highlight on the whiny white guys.  Here’s John Faulk:

The GOP — another white guy.

Tea Party Excitement in Harris County

The local tea party people ran ads on at least two or three radio stations in support of their pick for Harris County Republican chair.  How many people turned out to vote for their guy?  15, 179.

That seems like a lot, doesn’t it?  But like other races the tea party has been involved in, it wasn’t enough.  The same old guy won again with 25, 488 votes.

So I guess when the tea party people make their attendance claims about Discovery Green tomorrow or  at Sam Houston Race Park and the total is about 15K, then that will be about right.  And it will mean about as much as the election yesterday did.

And on a related note, Dan Patrick is looking for a new way to take your money — oh, I mean get his name in the paper.